Jean-Paul Metzger started to study music after moving to England from his native France where he had read computer science at Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (Paris), when a chance encounter with new music revealed a passion for composition. His first mentor was Paul Webster, who taught him at Morley College (London), then privately, in the late 1990s.
A recording of his early output for chamber ensemble and solo piano soon led to a string of collaborations with fringe theatre directors, short-film makers and popular music artists on both sides of the Channel – which notably saw a set of symphonic arrangements commissioned by singer-songwriter John Otway performed at the Royal Albert Hall.
He embarked on a cycle of academic studies in 2005, first reading music under Joe Duddell at Exeter University, where he gained an MA in composition (in the course which he became composer-in-residence for the Exeter Children’s Orchestra) and, more recently, completing a PhD at Bristol University under the supervision of Geoff Poole and John Pickard (2014).
Metzger’s compositional style is noted for its intense concentration and rarefied quality. His chamber music has been performed in the UK by ensembles such as Kokoro, Gemini, the Bozzini Quartet, the Bristol Ensemble and the NMSW Trio. His practice has been focusing lately towards exploring the relationship between music and the visual arts, with recent commissions specifically written in response to contemporary art exhibitions, including Zhang Enli: Four Seasons (Hauser & Wirth, Somerset, 2015) and Strange Worlds: the Vision of Angela Carter (Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, 2016). He is currently working on a sound installation to be featured in 2018 in Bristol as part of an exhibition of twentieth-century and contemporary design.